Z forZero

Z forZero

In mathematics this is the only number that is neither negative nor positive. Without it mathematics could not exist. It is the origin, the beginning of everything, that magic number which in a succession or a scale of size or value indicates the point of departure. Its perfect graphic representation evokes the shape of a tyre, the only contact point between a vehicle and the ground. Zero to P Zero, Pirelli’s most sporting and high-performance tyre and a point of reference for the whole car tyre manufacturing sector.


Zero fell in love with One one April morning amid the ruins of the Duino Castle, looking out over the Gulf of Trieste.
A daughter of Bora, she had strayed from the gales her father brought down from the Alps to churn up the Adriatic Sea.
Zero was the gentlest of the wind god's children, so gentle that nobody ever noticed her presence (and now that she was lost, her absence) as if she were nothing at all.
So soft was this wind's breath it could not even bend a clover or release the threads of a dandelion.
She spent her days flitting around the ruins of the ancient hold, unheeded by the goats that strayed among the crumbling arches.
Yet sometimes the shepherds would look quizzically into the sky, wondering what could have brought a sudden scent of apricot and honey.


Of all the days One could have chosen to swim across the Gulf, from the cape with the broken lighthouse, sickness in his heart, he chose the one that Bora and his offspring were up to their worst mischief.
On the distant headland of Pirano, the family of clashing winds sent ocean spray as high as the belltower's rusting archangel – and crashing down upon the pier, froth snaking through a maze of alleyways.
Zero observed him from the top of the castle tower, as he leapt from the broken lighthouse, and began cutting across the heaving waters. Bobbing, straining, crashing against the seething tides.
She watched him disappear under waves and emerge clinging to a boulder on the rocky shore.
Now he was climbing the face of the cliff. Now he approached, dripping brine, through crumbling arches.
She could not say why, since he could not possibly take notice anyway, but she hid with burning cheeks behind the entrance to the old granary.
Through a chink in the wall she watched him mount steps to the castle's last ramparts, jagged teeth that overhung the watery expanse.
One stood gazing at the wild sea, as all of Zero's siblings harassed him on the crumbling shelf, reunited with their sister and oblivious to her calls.
She implored them to leave him be, but none ever heard, none ever saw, none ever noticed, zero that she was.
Above the racket, she heard a solitary voice carried by the clashing winds.


Angel of plenitude, I have come to throw myself off the highest point of our coast, trapped by inescapable oneness.
Instead I find you, circle of unity, liberation from the emptiness of one. Without you, I am less than nothing. Just one. Powerless and alone.
From the earliest days, and for all time to come, you have been the womb of infinite possibility.
With you, One can be anything. One is multiplied and transfigured. One finds emptiness reborn as wholeness.
Across the sea, what unknown worlds, unimaginable powers, fathomless splendors shall we create together.
Shedding one, we shall become one with all being.


Zero swept over the clover and the dandelion to stand beside One on the crumbling shelf.
Reaching past her earlobe, she undid the crimson thread of abandon from her hair, and tied it to their wrists.
No longer abandonment but reckless trust.
They faced one another just once. And as the winds subsided to make the blurry air clear once more, they leapt off to fly into the noonday sun.


On Trieste's Piazza dell'Unità, the burghers at the terrace cafés suddenly looked up from their newspapers.
For the emptiness rang as never before. And all were held rapt, as a ribbon of zeros and ones unfolded over the glittering sea.
What kind of world will Zero and One build together, beyond the horizon?
Will it be for us to decide?

Language needs clarity and the Pirelli slogan is a perfect example Language needs clarity and the Pirelli slogan is a perfect example